Letter to the editor: Can we tell the truth?
Although we have written and spoken about the importance of honesty and civility in our public discourse in the past, we feel compelled to speak out now because, in response to the current election campaign and the launch of our new, innovative Housing Element update process, some in our community are spreading misinformation and fear.
This does not build community, increase trust, or encourage open dialog across different points of view, all of which we need to have a healthy, resilient, engaged city.
There are clearly areas in which reasonable people can disagree and see issues differently. This is not what we are referring to. It’s the anonymous flyers with personal slurs and blatant misinformation that cause us to write this piece.
What can we do? Get the facts. For example, a recent flyer asserted that “Prop A guarantees a vote on every project” and then states as a negative that “upzones can occur within the Housing Element Update,” implying that the City is violating Prop A, the Right to Vote Initiative.
We actually read Prop A, and we quote “This proposed initiative, to be known as the Encinitas Right to Vote Amendment, would … require voter approval, by a majority vote of the electorate, for a Major Amendment to a planning Policy Document …[defined as] the Land Use Element of the Encinitas General Plan, Land Use Policy Maps of the Encinitas General Plan, Encinitas Zoning Code, Zoning Map of the City of Encinitas, any specific plan or development agreement.”
The Facts: Clearly this does not require a separate vote on each parcel.
The Housing Element update process starts this month with an extensive public outreach effort that will eventually lead to a ballot measure that everyone can vote on, in compliance with the requirements of Prop A.
So, we encourage voters to get the facts for themselves by attending community meetings, talking to the candidates directly, and rejecting anonymous hit pieces. We are a highly educated community, capable of understanding the complexities inherent in local government. Encinitas is a diverse city with many different interests and priorities. Let’s make it even better by working together respectfully and honestly.
Teresa Barth, Council member and former Mayor of Encinitas
Lisa Shaffer, Council member and former Deputy Mayor of Encinitas